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Court hears appeal over state's objections

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A man who appealed his burglary conviction over the state’s objection did not fully understand the terms of his plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.

Danny Holloway was charged with six felonies and agreed to plead guilty to Class B felony burglary and to waive his right to appeal, with the state agreeing to drop the other charges. But although Holloway signed the agreement, at his combined guilty plea and sentencing hearing, the judge told Holloway at least twice that he would be able to appeal, and the state did not object.

The appeals court cited Bonilla v. State, 907 N.E.2d 586 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), in its decision to hear Holloway’s appeal: “This advisement occurred . . . before Bonilla received the benefit of his bargain. . . . In light of the contradictory and confusing information Bonilla received at his guilty plea hearing . . . we conclude that he did not waive the right to appeal his sentence.” The court held that Holloway, similarly, did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to appeal.

In July of 2010, Holloway broke into the home of a woman who knew him. She was on a mattress on the floor, sleeping with her three children and woke up when Holloway tried to remove her jeans. She saw Holloway kneeling at her side, and he then fled.

In Danny Holloway v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1011-CR-703, Holloway appealed his sentence as inappropriate. As part of his plea agreement, Holloway’s initial executed sentence would be capped at 10 years. The trial court sentenced him to 16 years with 10 years executed, six years suspended, and five years of probation. The appeals court held that because his burglary was not demonstrably less egregious than a “typical” burglary – and because of his criminal background – the sentence was appropriate.

Holloway’s record includes three juvenile offenses, fifteen adult convictions, and three probation revocations.
 

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